Folate and depression--a neglected problem.

Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN (Impact Factor: 7.49). 04/2007; 32(2):80-2.
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Low folate intake in the presence of the functional MTHFR 677 C > T (rs1801133) polymorphism is an important cause of elevated homocysteine levels previously implicated in major depressive disorder (MDD) and many other chronic diseases. In this study the clinical relevance and inter-relationship of these aspects were evaluated in 86 South African patients diagnosed with MDD and 97 population-matched controls participating in a chronic diseases screening program. A questionnaire-based clinical and nutrition assessment was performed, homocysteine levels determined, and all study participants genotyped for MTHFR 677 C > T (rs1801133) using allele-specific TaqMan technology. The folate score was found to be significantly lower in the patient group compared to controls (p = 0.003) and correlated with increased body mass index (BMI), particularly in females with MDD (p = 0.009). BMI was significantly higher in the MDD patients compared with controls after adjustment for age and sex (p = 0.015), but this association was no longer significant after further adjustment for the level of folate intake in the diet. In MDD patients but not controls, the minor T-allele of MTHFR 677 C > T was associated with increased BMI (p = 0.032), which in turn correlated significantly with increased homocysteine levels. The significant association between BMI and homocysteine levels was observed in both the MDD patient (p = 0.049) and control (p = 0.018) study groups. The significantly higher homocysteine levels observed in MDD patients compared to controls after adjustment for age and sex (p = 0.030), therefore appears to be mediated by the effects of MTHFR 677 C > T and low folate intake on BMI. Detection of the low-penetrance MTHFR 677 C > T mutation reinforces the importance of folate intake above the recommended daily dose to prevent or restore dysfunction of the methylation pathway.
    Metabolic Brain Disease 02/2014; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prevention of major depressive disorder is important because current treatments are only partially adequate in reducing symptom burden and promoting health-related quality of life. Lifestyle interventions may be a desirable prevention strategy for reasons of patient preference, particularly among older patients from minority groups. Using evidence from a randomized depression prevention trial for older adults, the authors found that coaching in healthy dietary practices was potentially effective in protecting at-risk older adults from developing incident episodes of major depression. The authors describe the dietary coaching program (highlighted in a case example) as well as the feasibility and potential efficacy of the program within the context of evidence-based interventions for preventing episodes of major depression and mitigating symptoms of depression. Older adults receiving dietary coaching experienced a low incidence of major depressive episodes and exhibited a 40%-50% decrease in depressive symptoms, as well as enhanced well-being, during the initial 6-week intervention; these gains were sustained over 2 years. The authors also describe why lifestyle interventions like coaching in healthy dietary practices may hold promise as effective, practical, nonstigmatizing interventions for preventing episodes of major depressive disorder in older adults with subsyndromal depressive symptoms.
    American Journal of Psychiatry 05/2014; 171(5):499-505. · 14.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Food is a potent natural reward and food intake is a complex process. Reward and gratification associated with food consumption leads to dopamine (DA) production, which in turn activates reward and pleasure centers in the brain. An individual will repeatedly eat a particular food to experience this positive feeling of gratification. This type of repetitive behavior of food intake leads to the activation of brain reward pathways that eventually overrides other signals of satiety and hunger. Thus, a gratification habit through a favorable food leads to overeating and morbid obesity. Overeating and obesity stems from many biological factors engaging both central and peripheral systems in a bi-directional manner involving mood and emotions. Emotional eating and altered mood can also lead to altered food choice and intake leading to overeating and obesity. Research findings from human and animal studies support a two-way link between three concepts, mood, food, and obesity. The focus of this article is to provide an overview of complex nature of food intake where various biological factors link mood, food intake, and brain signaling that engages both peripheral and central nervous system signaling pathways in a bi-directional manner in obesity.
    Frontiers in Psychology 09/2014; 5:925. · 2.80 Impact Factor


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May 31, 2014